This recipe comes to you from a firm believer that salads do NOT have to be boring. With so much produce in season during the summer, it’s a great chance to experiment with new flavors and textures. In season produce typically costs less and tastes better (1). Adding fruit to salads can enhance sweetness and flavor variety. Enter: Watermelon. You know it, you love it, and it’s the perfect snack to keep you cool during the summer since it’s in season from July – September (2). It’s also great when added to a salad: in this one, the sweet melon pairs well with fresh (or dried) herbs, tangy lemon, savory cucumber, and creamy feta cheese. Each ingredient adds to the dish’s nutrient profile. For starters, the watermelon and cucumber have a high water content to keep you hydrated. The herbs give a ton of flavor, so no need for additional salt. Lemon zest and juice provide vitamin C, and the feta cheese provides protein and calcium.
Whether you’re buying produce from your local grocery store or farmer’s market, you want to make sure you’re getting quality items. Some things to consider when picking a watermelon include: weight, color, and… sound?? You heard right! A ripe melon will feel heavy- this means it contains a lot of juice. It will also be dark green, with a yellow (not white!) spot underneath where it has been growing on the ground (3). If you tap the watermelon with your fingers, it should sound hollow (3). Some other general tips for buying fresh produce include looking for vibrant color without bruising or browning and ensuring the produce feels firm without any soft spots. An odd shape or bumpy texture, however, is okay. “Ugly” fruits and vegetables have the same flavor, nutrition, and sometimes even cost less (4).
We shared more recipes like this one during MANNA’s Get Fresh Summer Series where MANNA chefs and dietitians showed you how to make the most out of one ingredient, stay hydrated with meals, and grill up some summer dishes to go alongside this watermelon feta salad. Check out our Watermelon Get Fresh here: https://mannapa.org/…/08/Get-Fresh-Hydration-Recipes.pdf